For those who can cast your thoughts way back to final month, you may recall the UK’s Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) steered that if Microsoft was really severe about buying Activision Blizzard, it ought to take into account breaking apart Activision Blizzard. The market regulator was notably involved about Name of Obligation, a lot in order that all the methods it proposed Microsoft may fulfill it concerned breaking off COD from the remainder of Activision, a method or one other.

Effectively, clear that out of your thoughts. The CMA now says it is obtained “a big quantity of latest proof” in response to its findings final month, and has now reached a new provisional conclusion that the Activision acquisition “won’t end in a considerable lessening of competitors in relation to console gaming within the UK,” notably insofar as COD is worried.

That is fairly the 180! Whereas the CMA says it nonetheless has worries concerning the influence the acquisition can have on cloud gaming, it is not involved that Microsoft will resolve to yoink COD away from its opponents within the occasion the deal goes by means of unmodified. Why? It is all within the numbers.

Though its unique knowledge “indicated that this technique could be worthwhile beneath most eventualities” for Microsoft, the CMA has since gotten new data—which it says “gives higher perception into the precise buying behaviour of COD players”—and concluded that withholding entry to COD “could be considerably loss-making beneath any believable state of affairs” for Microsoft, which “will as a substitute nonetheless have the motivation to proceed to make the game obtainable on PlayStation”.

You possibly can see the CMA’s full revised findings right here, nevertheless it’s inconveniently redacted a bunch of the brand new maths it is now counting on.

These are nonetheless provisional findings, and the CMA is about to conclude its investigation correctly by April 26, nevertheless it’s nice information for Microsoft and dangerous for Sony, which has made entry to COD the centrepiece of its marketing campaign in opposition to the Activision acquisition. 

Activision’s execs are fairly thrilled about it, too: In a press release to PC Gamer, an Activision spokesperson stated that the brand new findings “show an improved understanding of the console gaming market and show a dedication to supporting gamers and competitors,” and that “Microsoft has already offered efficient and enforceable cures to handle every of the CMA’s remaining considerations”. Activision additionally took a swing in opposition to Sony, declaring “Sony’s marketing campaign to guard its dominance by blocking our merger can’t overcome the details”.

There’s one other month of investigation to go within the UK (to not point out ongoing investigations within the US and EU), so it is too early to say who’s going to ‘win’ this factor. Nonetheless, if Sony’s attorneys cannot pull one thing miraculous out of the bag, the momentum feels prefer it’s firmly again with Microsoft now.